Seoul (AsiaNews) - After his new appointment as Cardinal, Seoul Archbishop Yeom Soo-jung made his first pastoral visit to Eun-pyong Village, a homeless shelter run by Seoul Caritas. "From now on, I will be wearing scarlet garments. The blood-like color symbolizes martyrdom, my willingness to die for faith. I need your prayers. Your prayers are strong, because they are made under difficult circumstances."
The visit on Jan. 19 was said to "keep a promise," according to Archbishop Yeom, who was unable to hold the Christmas Mass at Eun-pyong Village due to sudden death of a diocesan priest. He had come to fulfill his promise.
Eun-pyong Village is a homeless facility for 900 people including serious patients with various diseases such as schizophrenia, diabetes, epilepsy, Parkinson's disease...etc.
During the Holy Mass, about 50 people were sitting in wheelchairs. Perhaps which is why in the homily, Archbishop Yeom did not read the script he had prepared. Instead of using the Bible phrases to talk about helping those in need, the Archbishop focused on the "good news."
"You have probably wondered many times: why does God let me suffer? But the truth is that God has loved you from the very beginning. And I want all of you to remember that you are always being loved," said Archbishop Yeom. "Heaven is not in another place or period; it exists in the places where people love and share."
The Holy Mass ended in a heart-warming atmosphere. Afterwards, Archbishop Yeom visited the serious patients one by one. He held their hands and greeted them with blessings. Before going for lunch, the Archbishop signed in the guest book and wrote, "may this house become the kingdom of God."
* from the Archdiocesan Secretariat